Memory Care vs. Skilled Nursing

There are many types of senior living resources and it can be confusing as to which one is right for your loved one.

Today, we’re exploring the differences between memory care and skilled nursing. Both options are available for families that aren’t equipped to monitor, meal prep, and assist a family member 24 hours a day. And most families are either without the people-power to devote to constant care or try to attempt it and get burned out. That’s why memory care and skilled nursing are such lifesaving options for both your loved one and you.


To understand which treatment plan you should seek, you might consider these questions. We’ve added our initial assessment to each one.

  • Has your loved one been diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognition difficulties?
    • Memory care might be your first go-to for support.
  • Does your loved one need physical help after a surgery or suffering a stroke?
    • Skilled nursing could be an option.
  • Is your loved one still quite active, yet needs caregiving due to memory loss?
    • Memory care serves seniors in all stages of cognitive decline.
  • Is your loved one living with a chronic illness, such as Parkinson’s, ALS, or a mobility condition?
    • Skilled nursing is designed to care for individuals who need 24/7 assistance with medication, procedures, meals, hygiene, and household duties.
  • Has your loved one suffered falls, accidents, or been susceptible to mistreatment or manipulation by others?
    • Memory care is structured to keep your loved one safe from physical, emotional, and financial harm.
  • Does your loved one need temporary care under a nurse and doctor’s orders?
    • Skilled nursing provides rehabilitative treatment, like physical therapy, occupational therapy, custodial care, and general wound care. For example, some individuals need short-term skilled nursing post-surgery, then after rehabilitation require a memory care community like Avalon.


What is the cost and how does a family afford these types of caregiving?

Memory care and skilled nursing are investments in your loved one’s health, and families should have a financial plan. There are ways to manage the expenses for these services:

  • 401k or pension retirement funds might be your best option before knowing if your loved one qualifies for insurance coverage.
  • Medicare, Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans, Medicaid, and health insurance do cover some or most of the cost, depending on your loved one’s health needs.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance is another option for some Alzheimer’s patients.
  • Long-term care insurance can offset costs for your loved one. Check with insurance companies to see what they offer now, if your parent or relative isn’t set up financially.
  • Grants and financial assistance might be options through the VA or non-profits.


Where do I begin to look for memory care or skilled nursing communities?

Research is key. You’ll want to make a checklist that works for you and your loved one and visit the community to get a feel for it yourself.


  • Is there a 24-hour nurse and/or physician on-staff?
  • What are the cleaning and disinfecting procedures?
  • What PPE is required for staff, especially with Covid-19?
  • Does my loved one get a private room?
  • What are the personalities of the caregiver? Will my loved one feel comfortable and safe?
  • What are the community’s security and safety protocols?
  • What are the visitation policies?
  • Do I have a direct line to their caregiver(s) for questions, concerns, and updates?
  • What is the general ambiance of the residence?
  • How far is the community from my home and other family members?


We’ve also made a chart you can quickly access while researching or touring communities:


It’s a tough decision to move your loved one to a new place, where new people will be caring for them. Whatever route you decide, we want to help you make the choice that keeps your loved one happy and safe. And despite all of the options and modern communities you’ll find, our best advice is to pick a community that feels right for you and your loved one. Let your intuition guide you, and if you need extra assistance, Avalon Memory Care is here to answer questions and, most importantly, gently listen to your concerns and needs. We can be reached at (972) 713- 1383 or (888) 522-1918.

By |2022-11-22T09:46:50-06:00November 22nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments